Morning Brief: Ayushman Bharat Benefits Over 1,000 Patients In Less Than 24 Hours; Unified Tri-Service Agencies For Space, Special Operations; And More

Morning Brief: Ayushman Bharat Benefits Over 1,000 Patients In Less Than 24 Hours; Unified Tri-Service Agencies For Space, Special Operations; And More

by Swarajya Staff - Tuesday, September 25, 2018 08:53 AM IST
Morning Brief: Ayushman Bharat Benefits Over 1,000 Patients In Less Than 24 Hours; Unified Tri-Service Agencies For Space, Special Operations; And MorePM Modi inaugurates Ayushman Bharat in Jharkhand. (Parwaz Khan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news brief for today.

Modicare Benefits Over 1,000 Patients In Less Than 24 Hours

Over 1,000 patients availed the benefits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Ayushman Bharat healthcare scheme in less than 24 hours after its launch, Times of India has reported. According to the daily, most of these beneficiaries are from Chhattisgarh and Haryana, followed by Jharkhand, Assam and Madhya Pradesh. Modi had launched the scheme, touted as the world’s largest healthcare programme, on Sunday. The scheme will provide cashless health cover of Rs 5 lakh each to over 10 crore families (over 50 crore beneficiaries).

The government has already identified 98 per cent of the beneficiaries. The National Health Agency (NHA) – responsible for implementing the scheme – has started dispatching letters from the Prime Minister to each beneficiary. It has already dispatched 40 lakh letters, which contain a QR code and other details. The agency has also started a website and a helpline number where people can check their eligibility for the scheme. The government is aiming is set up 50,000 wellness centres across the country in the next four years. Five states in the country, including Kerala and West Bengal, have rejected the scheme.

Unified Tri-Service Agencies For Space, Special Operations

The government is preparing to set up tri-service organisations to handle domains such as cyberspace, space and special operations. The Cabinet Committee on Security may soon approve the move. These bodies will be called Defence Space Agency, Defence Cyber Agency and the Special Operations Directorate. The Defence Space Agency will bring together the Defence Imagery Processing and Analysis Centre based in Delhi and the Defence Satellite Control Centre set up in Bhopal. For the Defence Cyber Agency, the existing Defence Information Assurance and Research Agency is to be upgraded.

However, the government has kept the proposal for the formation of an agency to streamline defence pronouncements on the back-burner. According to reports, the decision could have been taken as the government is facing attacks from the Congress on the Rafale deal and does not want to give the opposition more ammunition. The government has said that the proposal to set up the agency is “impractical and unworkable” as of now.

Trains To Run At 10-15 Per Cent Higher Speeds By 2021-22

The Indian Railways has said that the average speed of trains will increase by 10 to 15 per cent when the electrification of its network is complete. The Railways is planning to complete the electrification work by 2021-22. Indian Railways is one of the largest railway networks in the world with 67,368 km of tracks. Around 46 per cent of the network has been electrified and the Railways is currently working on tracks totalling around 20,000 km. The government has also approved the electrification of the remaining 13,000 km network. Nearly 8,400 km of railway track has been electrified in the last four years as compared to electrification of 2,600 km during the last four years under Congress-led UPA.

The Indian Railways is also working on converting a large part of its 5,500 strong fleet of diesel locomotives into electrical ones. These converted locos will have 5,000 horsepower. After the competition of the electrification programme, Railways’ power demand is set to double. The power requirement for broad gauge will increase from 2,000 megawatts (MW) to 3,400 MW. However, electrification is expected to save Rs 13,510 crore per annum in fuel costs.

Love India, Give My Regards To Friend Modi: Trump Tells Sushma

United States President Donald Trump has told External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is in the country to attend the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, that he loves India and asked her to convey his regards to ‘friend’ Modi. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley introduced Swaraj to Trump on the sidelines of a counter-narcotics conference hosted by him.

In New York, Swaraj will hold a series of bilateral meetings with several of her foreign counterparts. The External Affairs Ministry has received over 30 requests for bilateral meetings from different countries. Earlier, Swaraj was also scheduled to hold talks with Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. However, India had cancelled the talks after the abduction and killing of three policemen in Kashmir by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.

Modi To Open Railway Line Connecting Nepal And India In December

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Nepal in December to inaugurate the Janakpur-Jayanagar railway line connecting the country to India. The line, reports say, has remained non-functional for the last three years. The Janakpur-Jayanagar line, which is around 50 km long, is the only railway link between Nepal and India. Services on the line were discontinued in 2014.

It underwent a successful test operation in August. According to the Business Standard, a railway engine with 53 bogies covered a distance of 8.5 km from Jayanagar in Nepal to Khajuri in India during the test run. The government is reported to have spent Rs 700 crore for the upgrade of the track.

From Swarajya

How To Make Ayushman Bharat A Success? By Building A Medical Record For Every Citizen: Countries around the world are working on creating national health information infrastructures, but India can do one better. India can create a system that will be more than an electronic medical record system – it can also be a platform to administer and manage health policies nationwide.

Seven Factors Why BJP Could Reverse The Trend And Pocket Rajasthan: A cracker of an election is on the horizon. The BJP is looking to reverse the trend like Akalis did in Punjab in 2012 and Amma did in Tamil Nadu in 2016.

Labour Laws – Keeping Both The Worker And The Employer Down: An open labour market is integral to development and further prosperity. The current labour market artificially limits the ability of both labourers and employers.

We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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